China reported a strong trade surplus for April. The problem is that few analysts believed information from the People’s Republic. Experts have been skeptical about China’s economic data for years. One reason is that the central government wants both its population and the world to have faith in the power of the Chinese manufacturing machine. Another is that local governments issue data to make themselves look better in the eyes of the central government.
The AP says about China’s trade growth in April:
China reported stronger April trade but analysts said export data were inflated and its shaky recovery might be weaker than it looks.
Exports rose 14.7 percent over a year earlier, up from March’s 10 percent growth, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports gained 16.8 percent, up from the previous month’s 14.1 percent.
That suggested the world’s second-largest economy might be improving after an unexpected decline in growth to 7.7 percent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter’s 7.9 percent.
Analysts say, however, that Chinese export data are unreliable, possibly due to companies submitting inflated prices for their goods to evade capital controls and bring money into the country.
“We believe the strong trade growth is not indicative of a growth recovery,” said Zhiwei Zhang of Nomura in a report